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I Choose Joy - Understanding the Power of Hope, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
November 18, 2022 5:00 am

I Choose Joy - Understanding the Power of Hope, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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November 18, 2022 5:00 am

Are you in need of hope today? Are life’s ups and downs threatening to take the fight out of you or someone you love? Before you throw in the towel, join Chip as he shares how to find joy - even in the midst of really tough times. 

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In this crazy chaotic world, where's your hope?

I mean, when life completely goes sideways and you get caught off guard by something, what keeps you grounded and unshaken? Well, today I'm going to tell you how to get that kind of hope by sharing the incredible testimony of a good friend whose faith in the face of dire circumstances deeply inspired me. Stay with me. You're going to be encouraged today. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. The mission of these daily programs is to intentionally disciple Christians through the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram.

I'm Dave Druey, and we're in the middle of our series, I Choose Joy. I hope you're learning a lot from this series so far, and to help others learn as you have. Would you take a minute after this message and share it?

Now, you can do that either through the Chip Ingram app or by sending them the free MP3s that you'll find at livingontheedge.org. Thanks for spreading the word about how this teaching is impacting you. Well, with that, let's join Chip for his message, Understanding the Power of Hope. Kevin shared what it's like to be a young dad with four kids, stage four lymphoma, and battling, wondering the real challenges of, am I going to live or am I going to die, and how am I going to go through this?

I read every time on Caring Bridge has Kevin journaled through this process. And I kind of followed him with the ups and the downs, and you know, this prognosis, and then that one, and then how he's feeling, and I wanted to share with you the four things that I learned from going through this journey with Kevin that I hope will be helpful for you. The first thing I learned was that facing our mortality is both scary and clarifying. As I would read his journal, it just reminded me that I'm going to die. It reminded me of just life is really short. It reminded me of the battle and the victory that we went through with cancer with my wife. It just reminded me, gosh, the second thing was that very few things in life matter very much.

Just as I would read these journal entries, and you know, he wasn't worried about remodeling the kitchen or whether he was going to get a raise, you know, he wasn't concerned about is he going to get 49er tickets, his fantasy football team wasn't really a big issue for him, right? And the same thing, it just brought back all those memories that when we went through cancer, how projects, demands, what people think, what they don't think, nothing really matters. Life is very, very simple when you get really, really close to death.

The third thing is that as I've listened to Kevin and watched is that C plus P really does equal E. Our circumstances plus our perspective determines our experience. And as you listen, if you read the journals, if you went through it in real time with him, there were ups and downs and he was brutally honest. Brutally honest about fears, brutally honest about, you know, doubts and struggles, but also it was an unwavering, I'm going to trust God. I'm going to, I believe there's a heaven, I believe the Bible's true, I believe there's God's character, his spirit lives within me. There's a certainty, there's a hope, and I'm going to have an upward focus and an outward focus. And I'm going to use this for God's purposes. Those nurses are going to hear and see Christ. Other patients are going to hear and see Christ, not because I've got it in me, but Christ in me. I watched his life prove that.

And finally, I think the thing I learned from Kevin is that only an eternal P perspective can produce peace and joy when facing death. I mean, when you look at life through just the lens of now is all there is, I'll tell you what, you cannot sustain it. In fact, this wall for me is a lot like life and these are the circumstances. And you know, sometimes they're great, but sometimes it's a brick wall. And you know, you've got a marriage problem here and a singleness and you want to be married here and cancer biopsy here and you lose your job over here and you're clinically depressed over here. And you just keep butting against this wall and you're looking for hope and you're looking for hope and you lose it and you lose it and you lose it and you lose it. And after a while, you just give up and you just start doing stuff that you didn't think you would ever do. Because hope is the oxygen of the soul. If you don't have hope, you die.

You can go without food for seven days and water for about three. You can't go without any hope for probably more than three or four minutes. We'll do.

So what do you do? Here's what Kevin did. Kevin said, I can't take it. I don't know what's going to happen, so I'm going to rise above my circumstances and I'm going to look at eternity.

That would just seem temporal circumstances I can't change. And it's not a picture half full. It's completely full. It's heaven waiting. It's Christ.

It's all of its promises. It's a sovereign God. It's this life is not all there is. And I can look at that and I cling to that. And it's the anchor of my soul and it gives me the grace and the perspective and the perseverance to keep going. It takes an eternal perspective.

Here's the question. How, when life is crashing in, do you develop that eternal perspective that gives you the kind of hope that allows you to go through anything. That allows you not to give up, not to give in, not to get inwardly focused, not become a victim, not blame everybody else, not blame God. But be the kind of person in the midst of, you don't know if you're going to live or die and there's pain and there's children and there's a wife and there's a concern.

Where nurses want to come in and go, I don't know what's going on in this room, but we'll hang out here. That's the presence of God. That's the power of God.

That's a joy, not a happiness. That's a reality experienced in the midst of crushing circumstances. Well, if you open your notes, we're going to learn the answer to finding that kind of hope. And the answer is in a very simple yet profound word and it's the key to eternal perspective. And the key word of the lens you need to look at is the lens of hope and the question to ask yourself when you're really struggling is not just where's my focus and not just what's my purpose. But where's my hope? What's my hope rooted in? And by the way, when we use the word hope, English word hope has one meaning. The biblical word hope is a little bit different. When we use the word hope, we often, you know, I hope it doesn't rain.

I hope the 49ers win. I hope I get a good job. I hope someday I get married. We use the word hope in a good way, but it's almost wishful thinking. We hope for something positive in the future.

It's a good definition. There's nothing wrong with that kind of hope, but that's not the word in the Bible. The word in the Bible for hope is an absolute certainty that you can bank on that will never change. Christ's return is the hope. Heaven is our hope. God's promises are hope.

Jesus said that I will give you all the grace you need to get through any situation. It's a hope. In other words, it's the anchor of your soul.

Biblical hope isn't a possibility. It's a guarantee of something unseen. The apostle Paul will later say that which is seen is temporal. That which is unseen is eternal.

And it is both a skill and an act of faith to learn how to look at the unseen hope that sustains you. We pick up the story of the apostle Paul, and it is now his third lesson. The context for those that might be just joining us, he's in Rome. He's chained to a Praetorian guard that changes every six hours. It is not a good situation. He's on trial, and at the end of the trial, he's either going to be released and found innocent, or he's going to be found guilty and be executed. And when we pick up the story, he's in the situation where I don't know what's going to happen. Imagine more than a little anxiety for most of us. So what's his perspective in facing death?

It's crazy. It's joy. It's joy. He actually has a joyful attitude facing death.

He has an eternal perspective. Notice in verse 18 it says, yes, and I will continue to rejoice. The question is why and how could any individual, unless they're playing just mind games, how could you have joy in a terrible situation?

You've been betrayed by your friends. There's political issues happening in the church. You're humanly thinking, God, you sent me to go to all the world and instead here I am in this prison. Little did he know that all these letters that he would write would change the course of history. He didn't know that. What was it that allowed him to have this amazing attitude in circumstances that would absolutely crush 99.9% of the people? He gives us two reasons in Philippians chapter 1 verses 19 to 25. Reason number one is that his deliverance is certain. His deliverance is certain. Underline the word deliverance.

Follow along as I read. For I know that this shall turn out for my deliverance. Well how? Through your prayers and the provision of the spirit of Jesus Christ. According to my earnest expectation and hope that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness Christ, even now as always, will be exalted in my body. Well how? Whether by life or by death.

Paul is completely convinced that he's going to be delivered. Now I want to do something with you. It's kind of fun. The apostle Paul, I really like him because he has run on sentences. Because I have run on sentences. And the favorite grammatical punctuation in all of the English language for me is a semicolon. That's how you put multiple sentences together and not have the teacher take off. And so I've written the notes in a way so you can see the structure of them. But let me give you just his sentence. And so what I want you to do is, for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance, put a line underneath that. Okay?

You got it? And then I want you to skip down where it says according to my earnest expectation, just underline the word just that. And then I want you to skip down a little bit farther and underline Christ will even now as always be exalted in my body. His simple sentence is, I know that this shall turn out for my deliverance. That Christ will even now as always be exalted in my body. And everything else is the whys, the wherefores, the hows, and all those clauses to explain it.

But they're really important. First of all, put a box around the first where it says for I know. There's two Greek words for know.

One is you know by way of experience. Powerful word, but that's not this word. The other word is like you know, like physics.

You know that water boils at such and such degrees or two plus two is four. That's this word. In other words, there's empirical facts. Paul says, I have an empirical fact that doesn't change that I will be delivered. And put a box around the word deliverance. We get our word salvation. It means to be delivered out of. In the Old Testament, you know when the Red Sea parted, they were delivered. So he says, I know for certain I'm going to be delivered that Christ is going to be exalted. I want you to note his perspective on this. He says there's two reasons why I know I'm going to be delivered. One is the responsibility of man and the other is the sovereignty of God.

Did you pick it up? He says I know I'm going to be delivered through A, your prayers and B, the provision of the Spirit of God. You know despite anybody's theology anywhere, the apostle Paul actually believed when men and women, ordinary people like us, would come to God earnestly in faith and claim his promises.

And in our heart at least and get down on our knees and intercede for the life of another person, it actually makes a difference. He's certain of his deliverance and for the provision. Put a circle around the word provision. It's an interesting word. We get our word, are you ready?

It's weird. We get our word chorus. You know like a singing group and historically this is kind of fun to give you a little background on this because in the ancient world if you were a very, very wealthy person in a smaller town, then there was entertainment and so the theater was very big and they had these outdoor amphitheaters and if you were very wealthy it was expected that you would bring a theater group, that you would pay the theater group, that you would rent the amphitheater and everything that had to happen for their costumes, the group, the entrance, everything so that you could entertain the city. And it's this word chorus. Over time it came to mean whatever it takes to pull this thing off, all the provision, the money, the time, the energy, the leadership, everything it takes to pull something off, that's what this word became. And Paul says I'm convinced of my deliverance because you all are praying and whatever it takes that the spirit of God is going to bring into my life, but notice he doesn't think his deliverance is necessarily out of his circumstances. He doesn't say that I'm going to be delivered and I'll be released, that I'm going to be executed, that God's going to just deliver me out of it. He says I'm convinced of my deliverance that Christ will be exalted in my body whether I live or whether I die. And then notice he says according to my earnest expectation.

It's another very interesting word that has a, it's a picture of someone who blocks everything out and brings a level of focus. Imagine if you will the runner and you know what he's like two, three yards and everyone's leaning in on the hundred meter dash and he leans forward, the crowd is gone, the noise is gone, and it's a word that says Paul's saying my eager expectation, my absolute focus. In other words I believe in this deliverance, I believe because of your prayers, I believe God's going to come through, and I have a laser like focus in the promises and the character of God and I have a hope. Jesus promised. I have a hope. Heaven's real. I have a hope.

God's in control. I have a hope. God's goodness says that whether I live or whether I die, his highest and best purposes, his hope is in the character, the promises and the reality of God's goodness and that the worst that can happen is he goes to heaven. And so he says earnest expectation, hope.

His biggest concern is that he would be put to shame. But he says with all boldness that Christ even now will be exalted in my body whether by life or by death. Notice he prayed that what he would be delivered from is failure to represent Christ well in the midst of crushing circumstances. His biggest concern wasn't whether he lived or died.

His biggest concern was Christ's reputation. Whoa. There's three ways in scripture that God delivers us and we tend to only think of one. So get your pencil out.

This will be helpful one day in your life. I'm going to give it God's plan A, God's plan B, God's plan C or actually it's more probably accurate to say our plan A, our plan B and our plan C. Plan A when God uses the word deliverance, he delivers you out of something. He does a miracle. I mean I've had times where we had no money. We couldn't pay the rent. There's no way.

I have no resources. And I get a check in the mail from someone that I've met once years ago for a thousand dollars and I pay the rent and I go that's a miracle. God delivered me out of it. It happened again. A missionary from India actually sent me money during seminary to pay my bills.

Go figure. He delivered me out of it. I've had times where we have anointed people with oil, prayed for them and seen a brain tumor miraculously go.

Delivered them out of it. Praise God. He still does miracles. But we've prayed for people and three weeks later they've died. God's in control. He has purposes. Some of which we understand, a lot of them that we don't. Deliverance number one, he delivers us out of the adversity or the difficulty.

Chip will be back in just a minute with his application. You've been listening to the first part of his message, Understanding the Power of Hope from his series, I Choose Joy. It's safe to say that we all want to live life with a little more joy.

But what does that mean exactly? Is it just finding happiness or pleasure in something? Will those feelings really sustain us through the hard knocks of life? Well, in this eight-part series, Chip explains why joy that comes from God is more than just an emotion. Discover how it can change your perspective on life and profoundly strengthen your faith in challenging times. To learn more about this study in Philippians chapter one, go to livingontheedge.org, the Chip Ingram map, or call 888-333-6003. Well, before we go any further, Chip's joined me in studio to share a special word for all the moms and dads listening. So, Chip, why don't you go ahead and do that?

Thanks, Dave. You know, I think we need to pause right now when we think about parenting and just admit it is super, super hard right now. I mean, we're living at a time and a culture where we have to protect our kids, and at the same time, we want to help them grow spiritually. And as we're, you know, protecting them from media and outside influences and bad friendships, if we're not careful, we get worn out. And we're not exerting the kind of positive influence we need to be each and every day in the home. I mean, the pressure, I talk to parents all the time. I'm at a church where there's all these young parents, and when they get home after work, and with all that's going on, they're exhausted, they feel defeated, and they know they should be doing more with their kids, but they're out of gas and actually often don't know what to do.

If this sounds a little bit like you, I've got good news. We have a resource that will help you on a daily basis build into the lives of your kids. It's called Intentional Parenting, and it comes from my friends Doug and Kathy Fields, and through their decades of parenting experience and working with young people, they've come up with 10 crucial concepts to be intentional, God-honoring moms and dads to give their kids what they need. I just want to tell you personally, I've actually studied and written a book on parenting, but what Doug and Kathy have put together is some of the best stuff I've ever seen, and there's two ways to get it.

The first way is on these cards. They're intentional parenting cards. There's 43 of them that cover these 10 practices, and it's just like in bite-sized little ways that remind you kind of on an ongoing basis how to invest in your kids. The second is we have a five-part video series called Intentional Parenting that Doug teaches. These are things you want to get your hands on if you want to make a difference in the lives of your kids.

Thanks, Chip. Well, if you'd like to get plugged in with the online course taught by Doug or our card set, go to LivingOnTheEdge.org or call us at 888-333-6003. Make today the day you choose to be more deliberate about your calling as a parent or grandparent. Again, to learn more about these intentional parenting resources, go to LivingOnTheEdge.org or call 888-333-6003.

App listeners, tap Special Offers. Well, here again is Chip with his application. As we wrap up today's program, I think we learned something that is so valuable and so neglected by us who are followers of Christ. You know, Paul says, my earnest expectation and hope, and he's talking about that He's going to be delivered. But the deliverance isn't that everything's going to go great. You know, I talked about the one kind of deliverance where God delivers us out of things and it's a miracle. And in our next broadcast, I can't wait to share with you how He delivers us through things or unto Himself. But it's so interesting that heaven was so real.

Eternal life wasn't like some formula or some vague distant things that happen someday some way. And I think that's why I wanted to share Kevin's story with you. You know, I walked very closely through that with him and I'd like to ask you when you think about problems and struggles and what you're facing, and it's so often day to day, have you faced your mortality recently? Have you ever really thought about dying? How clarifying?

Scary, yes, but how clarifying? Have you realized, you know, when those huge things happen, how few things really matter? I mean, things that you're so uptight about that seem so urgent. I will never forget when my wife had cancer. And I mean, I remember the day before I have a book manuscript due and I've got to travel here and I've got to do that and I'm overwhelmed and I have all these commitments.

And we prayed and cried sitting on our couch after we heard that the biopsy was positive and she had cancer. And I remember 24 hours later, nothing really mattered. I canceled things, it didn't matter.

What people thought, it really didn't matter. I'm just going to ask you to do something. Could you step back today and think about if you're a follower of Christ, heaven is sure. He's preparing a place for you.

It's a real place. Jesus loves you. He's for you. And He wants you to know that these circumstances that you're facing, they're going to come and they're going to go.

And next year, this time, if we're all here, there'll be new ones. And you can either live on the ups and downs of the waves of circumstances and people's responses, or you can have an anchor. You can have an anchor in your soul.

There is a hope that no one can take away and that you don't have to be afraid. I learned that from Paul. I learned that from Kevin. And I learned that in my journey with Teresa. God wants you to learn it and believe it today. Heaven's real. It's your ultimate hope. Trust Him. Encouraging word, Chip.

Thanks. Well, just before we close, I want to thank each of you who's making this program possible through your generous giving. One hundred percent of your gifts are going directly to the ministry to help Christians really live like Christians. Now, if you found this teaching helpful, but you're not yet on the team, would you consider doing that today? To send a gift, go to livingontheedge.org or text the word donate to 74141. It's that easy. Text donate to 74141 or visit livingontheedge.org. App listeners, just tap donate. And let me thank you in advance for doing whatever the Lord leads you to do. Well, until next time, for everyone here, this is Dave Druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-18 05:42:33 / 2022-11-18 05:52:48 / 10

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